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Old 02-05-2013, 02:09 AM   #1
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Default Using the Class B year-around

Mrs Slipbobber and just got back from Minnesota. We recently bought a 99 Leisure Travel that was barley used. Not the first RV but the first class B. On the trip I learned two things. Minnesota is still cold in the winter and I should have bought a Class B a long time ago. We spent 8 days and nights in the Leisure Travel, which is now named "The Cocoon". How cold was it? I filled the 5 gallon LP tank 3 times. Other than than that the Cocoon is the best all around van we have owned. I love to mod just about everything and here is a list of the mods I plan on doing for winter comfort and just because. I will update this thread with pics as projects get done.

Found some "Yoga mats" made if about 1/8" dense foam that I am going to make insulated covers for the side and rear windows. They were on sale over the holidays for $3 a piece.

The furnace is under the bed/couch in the rear with ducts that do not run forward. I picked up a piece of 6" flex duct and just laid it on the floor in front of the vent. This helped get heat to the front. I am going to figure out a more permanent solution.

One of the reasons I fell for the Leisure Travel is the black holding tank is above the floor in the bathroom away from extreme cold. The empty valve did freeze enough that I had to wait to get back to S. Indiana to dump. Nothing broke but I will be looking for a solution for this. After all, the "toidy" is the reason the MRS went along with spending $.025 million dollars.

I saw a post on here about WIFI extenders and will be tackling that. I think we will be doing more urban camping and this sounds like a better alternative than a satellite internet dish.

The Cocoon has an old box TV in the front that has left marks on both of our heads. That is coming out one way or another. I am installing a 22" LED flat panel tv in the back that will double as a computer monitor for a simi-permanent tower. I auto sinc this with my andriod tablet. OK now my geek side is showing but it is a part of my life

That's all for now.... I'd better get started
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

You might consider a catalitic propane heater to use less gas and electric. I use one in my Bounder but have 2 carbon monox detectors and always crack a window and roof vent. If you are the geek you purport to be then we expect, nay demand pics of all projects. Thanks, Stan
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

Welcome to the forum slipbobber. I look forward to reading your future posts.
I like the way you priced your van at $.025 million dollars. I might start thinking of mine that way.

Mine probably comes in at $.020 million dollars I feel richer already!
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

Finally am getting started on project #1. I am used to having a large shop but with the new venture in life that is no longer the case. I will be doing most of the work on the Cocoon from inside. Hit my head on the front TV cabinet. Again..... That's what made it Number 1. Here is what I found. (See pics) Feels got to be working on this kind of stuff again. I removed the cabinet and will be cutting it down so that it is flush. After a short overnight trip this weekend we decided that there will be a flat panel LED TV mounted there. Going to make a door that opens in a way to access this space and to mount the TV on.

Question: There was a 100 watt inverter to power the digital adapter on the old TV. It seemed to cause a lot of interference. Does anyone power a LED TV with a small inverter or do you think it would be better to spend a little extra and buy a 12 volt LED TV
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

Looks like fun figuring out all those wires!

My first campervan had a modified sine wave inverter powering the TV and I don't remember ever seeing any interference. It was a Tripp-Lite 600 watt inverter and a 110 volt Toshiba TV. Current van has a pure sine wave inverter and a 110 volt LG TV. I haven't used the TV much yet but there was no interference when I did use it.

A 12 volt TV would be more efficient but it might be more expensive.
I have read that some modified sine wave inverters can cause TV interference but haven't seen it myself.

Looks like you'll be doing a few projects.
Are you going to run anything else off an inverter?
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

I also found that when I plugged my tablet into the inverter it froze the touch screen up. It charged fine but I had to wait for it to charge then unplug it. Happened every time I plugged it in. I use it often in the office and at home while plugged in to line current without issue. I need to do more research before I decide to install a tower (cpu) because I had planned to run that on an inverter.

Now, how does one go about selling a 12 volt VHS tape player...LOL
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:56 PM   #7
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I use a small 400 watt inverter from Walmart to power both an 18 inch flatscreen and a cheap DVD player.I have a 99 American Cruiser. The prior owner had replaced the original analog TV with the flatscreen and installed a roof top Wingard amplified antenna. I have added a small 400 watt inverter and a cheap DVD player, both from WallyWorld. We have both 12VDC and 120VAC in the original tv cabinet. When we are drycamping, we plug the inverter into the 12VDC socket to power both the TV & DVD player. Works greats. I took the TV and mounted it to the outside of one of the cabinet doors freeing up the cabinet to store our sleeping bags.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

I just Googled up 1999 American Cruiser, and guess where it lead me? Right back here to classbforum.com: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2395
I just wanted to see what an "American Cruiser" looked like. (Nice looking rig, by the way.) Did you buy it from that ad here? I couldn't tell from your avatar if it was the same rig.

.........Rocky
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

I was fortunate that my 2002 Roadtrek came with a large entertainment unit, which had 2 12VDC built in cigar lighter outlets which are wired into the coach batteries, and can be disabled by the "battery enable" switch on the monitor panel (along with all the other hard wired 12V stuff in the van). This is what my setup looked like after the old 13" Panasonic battery killer CRT was removed.


I mounted a lightweight low draw Sharp 19" LCD on an articulating Sanus arm on the back of the entertainment unit, facing the sleeping area, and have since replaced the 2 low power Motomaster inverters in the picture with 2 Schumacher 400W inverters (bought at Batteries Plus in 2011 for around $40 each on sale) that just plug into the 2 12VDC plugs in the unit. Each inverter has 2 individually fused AC outlets, and a USB charger (I think, can't recall), low battery alert and shutdown, and enable/disable switches that kill the draw entirely. With them, I can run my TV (covered with a green garbage bag in the picture), satellite receiver (not shown in these pictures, but it's small and fits easily in the unit) and dish, a laptop, and recharge my camera batteries all off of the 2 high capacity deep cycle AGM coach batteries, for hours if necessary. Who needs an E-Trek???
The black and white coaxes are a mix of the original TV input source support cables and my new satellite setup, and the A/B switches for shore cable versus the built in roof antenna, and the little switch box on the inside aft wall is the completely ineffective Chinese built "antenna signal booster" which I left there for historical accuracy. I usually bypass it when watching local OTA TV off the roof antenna.
Some pics of the TV/articulating arm. I added a plumbing pvc connector as a shim to keep the TV from sagging. Even though it was expensive, these Sanus arms aren't very sturdy. If I did it again, I'd use a shorter more compact mounting arm. My wife made the baseball motif TV dust cover for me.


Don't know if any of this gives you any ideas for how to rework your TV setup? I was originally just going to suggest the Schumacher Inverters, as good sized for running most small to medium electronics. They don't seem to cause interference, handle the everyday loads well, are designed and fused for safety, and weren't expensive.
As usual, I got carried away.......
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

Rok,
No, I spotted our American Cruiser at a used Camper dealer on the way back from Acadia National Park last June. We got it for a mere $8900 (a consignment estate sale). It's in great shape - 98000 miles - everything works - runs and rides great. Dodge B3500 chassis. Has a rear entry with kitchen and wet bath in the back and dinette and bench seat in the middle (they eliminated the side door). We used it about every other weekend last summer and we are chomping at the bit for spring to get here and get back on the road.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

THANKS GUYS

That is very helpful info. With a 110v LED there are more options. I am going to install a 15" LED in the front. I am also going to install a 22" or 24" in the back. It sounds like overkill but so far I have noticed that when the other half is sleeping in I would like a TV in the front for the morning news. Our has some cool partitions to separate the front from the sleeping area. As far as size, it is all relative.... I have a 26" monitor in front of me now
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Old 03-02-2013, 06:16 AM   #12
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Wow Randy, that sounds like a deal you got there. Before going new, we looked at a few used units and were tempted by a couple of them. The ones we found were not nearly as nice as what you got. One had very low miles, but the coach looked like it had been lived in fulltime for 10 years. Another had a beautiful coach, but the rig itself had been driven with huge miles. We wanted one that "a little old lady only drove to church on Sundays" or something like that, but never found anything that even approached that type of deal. (We did hear of lots of stories about others who did get great deals.)

As soon as we get our new Great West SE, we'll probably see tons of rigs available for a song. (Nonetheless, we're very happy with our decision.)

.........Rocky
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:52 AM   #13
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The first small mod is done for now. The head banger tv is replaced with a flat panel. I found this one on Ebay for $37. A few years old. Supposed to look like a golf ball but I bought it to match the interior. I did not look close enough at the specs and I have to use a box with it. No built in digital tuner but it looks cool...... I am still going to mount a 22" or 24" in the back for TV, DVD, computer monitor.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: Using the Class B year-around

That is an interesting TV - I've never seen one like it.
With all new TV's having built in digital tuners I bet those stand-alone digital to analog converter boxes will start showing up in lots of yard / garage sales for a few dollars if you decide you need one.
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